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That which does not kill us...

Old 06-28-2012, 11:50 AM
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That which does not kill us...

I don't post too much here, but I've been coming around here for probably three and a half years, had a handful of half-hearted attempts under another screen name and am now back with (unbelievably) close to nine months of sobriety.

I have recently come to a point in my sobriety in which I've had to confront one of the largest roadblocks in my way-- a relationship with an old friend who drinks heavily, and around whom I have much baggage stashed.

Working a program of recovery, for me, also means helping others, and I've recently begun helping another alcoholic. I've realized that in order to become and stay honest, I need to eliminate this other person from my life, because our relationship, in many ways, has always revolved around alcohol.

There's simply no way I can imagine seeing this person in a context in which both of us are not drinking heavily. In order to spend time with this person again I would end up willingly taking a "vacation" from my sobriety and then would either have to hide that fact from my recovery friends or confess to it.

Neither scenario appeals to me, and after a lot of handwringing I have had to contact my drinking friend and say "no more." There's a lot of extraneous detail I'm leaving out, but I will say that doing that is not something I ever imagined I could do. As I said, there's a lot of baggage.

But, as I've been moving forward in my recovery I have begun to realize that I can't recover partway. I have to put my full person into this, if I'm going to be there for others as well as myself. I never thought I had the strength to do this, but my recovery has given me the strength to behave as a woman of integrity. And it has made me stronger.

Just wanted to share this here, as it's a huge watershed in my particular story. Maybe others can share their own watershed moments, as well.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:27 PM
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You did the right thing, now matter how hard it was or will be.

Whatever stands between you and sobriety must sometimes go. I had to let go of my best friend I had for many years. I realized it had to end when I told him about the fact I was getting sobber and he almost laugh in my face and practically said I would not succeed. That was it, friendship over.

Sometimes people we think are friends are not actually friends.

Whaeterv stands between me and sobriety I'm running over with my truck. LOL!
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:27 PM
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You don't sound like a retread to me. Your sound like someone with a bright future!
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:30 AM
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Thumbs up Re:that which does not kill us...

Thatís great to hear Retread. I had a drinking buddy like that, once. We called him boozer Sam, nicknamed after my favorite beer Sam Adams. He would do anything for that beer, literally. I guessed thatís why we connected so easily. That sad part to all this happened the day after my last drink. That was the day I finally said goodbye to my greatest nemesis Ďalcoholí and to my drinking buddy boozer Sam as well. He liked his beer too darn much, and me, well, I needed something more. Unfortunately, he died about 2 years ago -much to my chagrin, but my life has changed dramatically ever since. And so can yours. You made the right choice Retread, you certainly did. And the rewards for you are limitless today, they truly are. So keep that momentum going Retread, okay. It can only get better from here. We promise.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:55 AM
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I fell out with my oldest friend not long before I quit, although in truth, we'd been drifting further apart for some time. I've lost touch with so many people over the years, what with me moving or them moving.
In some ways, looking back, I'm glad we fell out when we did. Because this is the person who... well, I decided to quit back in December, I'd had a blackout and it scared me. I'd had quite a few "What did I say last night?" mornings, but I don't think I'd had a 'How did I get home?' before. Anyway, on Boxing day (actually the day after, but never mind) he has a party. It used to be a really fun do. Or perhaps I should say it used be a good excuse for excess. For the last few years it's been... polite. Nice. Dull. Oh well, we all get older (and some of us say they get wiser, but they just get comfortable). Anyway, this would be the first time I'd been there sober and I wasn't looking forward to it.
I told him I'd quit drinking, and I told him why. I'd not bought any beer to take as I'd done for the last 20 odd years. I'd just taken the last ones from the house.
"So... do you want a beer?" he asked, like an idiot.
"Yes," I said, like a bigger idiot.
In all the time I've known him, I don't think we've ever got together without me drinking. I think he's only got 4 pictures of me where I don't have a beer or whisky in my hand.
And that's why I'm glad, in some ways, that we fell out when we did. It saved me having to tell him why I didn't want to see him again. Sad, but there we are.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for all the support on this. I have not yet heard back from my friend since I sent him the e-mail telling him that I am putting my recovery first and cannot see him again. I don't know that I will. What I imagine he is doing is scratching his head and thinking "I never knew she was THAT messed up." Little does he realize that he's the one who's choosing to remain messed up. He's one of these lucky alcoholics who has been wildly successful in life despite his alcoholism. I can't imagine he'll ever quit drinking. It's a shame, because he's an emotional train wreck. But, whatever. I can't save the world, and it's time to move on.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:35 AM
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Welcome back...

I too found some relationships were no longer fullfilling my
goal of lasting peaceful recovery.
They had turned toxic for me.

Well done on your 9 months...
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:26 AM
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Awesome to hear such great news, Retread!

Originally Posted by Retread
But, as I've been moving forward in my recovery I have begun to realize that I can't recover partway. I have to put my full person into this, if I'm going to be there for others as well as myself. I never thought I had the strength to do this, but my recovery has given me the strength to behave as a woman of integrity. And it has made me stronger.

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